I have just dragged my weary body out of bed. (No small achievement today I can assure you) Washed, dressed, made a coffee and taken my morning meds. And then I looked at today’s question within the “Questions To A Parent With Mental Illness” challenge which my daughter ha set me. “Do you think you will ever have really good mental health?” And I have to be honest, right now I would settle for good physical health what with this flu-like thing that I have. But I am determined to blog today 🙂
Good morning honey,
Thank you for your question today. And I promise to try to make today’s answer somewhat shorter than yesterday’s 🙂
Your question this morning poses a very interesting consideration. “What constitutes ‘really good mental health’?” Is it, for example, the total absence of any mental illness or is it, let’s say, where mental illness is present but presents no noticeable effect on a person’s ability to function?
And this is a very interesting and relevant point honey. After all, there are a number of medical conditions that a person can have which simply do not cause any hardships in the course of that person’s life.
As you know, Matthew is technically a haemophiliac but thankfully the type of haemophilia that he has should never cause any hardships in his life. Does he therefore have really good physical health or does the existence of this haemophilia mean that technically he will never be able to say that he has really good physical health?
And of course the answer is that it all depends on your definition of ‘good physical health’ and on your perspective. And the same therefore applies to mental health, doesn’t it?
My brain or my mind, does not function the way that your brain or mind, indeed the way most people’s brains or minds, seem to function. But that does not mean that I do not have days in which – to all intents or purposes – you would ever know it. And on those days I consider myself to be experiencing good mental health, even though I know that my mental illnesses are still there.
And I am fairly sure that if you took a poll of all the people who knew me, some would be surprised to know that I even had mental illnesses. This being due to the fact of my level of interaction with them already being small and as a result of the fact that when my mental health is really bad I tend to isolate and so they would not have been exposed to that aspect of my life.
And honey there are, are there not, lots of folk with mental illness who – thanks to medication and treatment – lead perfectly normal lives and who would probably tell you that (thanks to those medications or treatments) they do generally enjoy really good mental health.
So, in answer to your question. If you had asked, “Do I think I will ever be cured of my mental illnesses?” I would have to admit that I am not so sure that, this side of heaven, I ever will be. Although as a Christian I, of course, can never rule out the possibility. But do I think I will ever have really good mental health? Yes I do think I will have it, and indeed have had it. It is just that for me it comes in small doses and only ever now and then.
So honey, since this is the way that it is for me, the way I see it the important, the real question here is not about having really good mental health, it is more about having a really good attitude towards the mental health that I do have.
With all my love.
Ps. How’s that for being shorter than yesterday’s answer ? 🙂